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#a238 :: Clementine`

October 9, 2008

ENLARGEA tart bang across her tongue. Orange fresh. Hard work won it. She had carried herself well. She deserved this little palm-sized fruit. Even now, hospital prescription moments after she had slit the skin with a thumbnail and started the engine. Despite what she’d done, this was her moment to enjoy her snack. Bracing her thumb, had she dug three fingers into the slit fruit and moved the edge back cleanly, pulling away to show the white beneath, the pearlescent orange beneath that. It almost fell apart in neat, crisp segments, but she clutched it to the handlebars gingerly with her left and twisted the throttle with her right. And she was enjoying them, one by one as she rode the little 125cc dirtbike around the inside of the steel-girded cylinder in the little shithole town outside Pittsburgh where the circus had set up this week. Around and around. Until the gas ran out and she either coasted to a stop or she simply fell off the thing and prayed it wouldn’t land on her as it came to rest. One hand clung to the throttle, her weight braced in the centrifugal well against the downpull of gravity. The other flipping pieces of clementine into her mouth. The cops waited at the bottom of the drum, peering up into the light drizzle, the parabolic wwwOWWW, wwwOWWW, wwwOWWW, wwwOWWW, of her bike around the inside, 30 feet up. Her girlfriend huddled below in the cold, shouting her name every fourth or fifth orbit. It went on for a good 50 minutes until the bike finally quit.

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